Head Men’s and Women’s Golf Coach
Washburn University ’89
Christopher Gomez was hired as the fifth women’s and seventh men’s golf coach in June. He will lead the Tigers for a second time after coaching the teams for three seasons from 2001-2004.
Under Gomez, the DWU women won the 2004 Region IV tournament and made their first appearance at the NAIA Championships, finishing a program best 10th in the nation. Gomez was named Great Plains Athletic Conference Coach-of-the-Year in 2003, while coaching 10 All-GPAC performers and the conference Player-of-the-Year in 2004. The women’s golf team won back-to-back GPAC championships in Gomez’s three years with the team.
Gomez departed from DWU in 2004 to take a position as Head Women’s Golf Coach at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kan., an NCAA Division I program. In three years, Gomez’s teams broke the school’s scoring records for 18, 36 and 54 holes, while the Shockers had eight top-10 finishes and its first tournament title since 1992.
Gomez takes over a women’s team that won the GPAC by 82 strokes in 2014-15 and finished 21st at the national tournament. Three-time GPAC Golfer-of-the-Year Lauren Fitts returns for her senior season to lead DWU after being named the NAIA All-Tournament Team with a 15th-place finish The women have won seven straight conference titles. The team finished the season under the direction of assistant coaches Emilie Palo, Chaz Hurd and Josh Hartman.
On the men’s side, Gomez will look to help the men take that next step towards a GPAC championship. The men won three events and held on to the TigBro Cup against Hastings College in 2014-15.
Most recently, Gomez served as the Assistant Golf Professional with Heart of America Golf Academy in Kansas City, Mo., for the last four years. He worked with membership relations, merchandising and business operations, staff development and instruction.
Gomez graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration from Washburn University in Topeka, Kan., in 1989. He played college golf at Midland College, Houston Baptist and Kansas State University, while also being named the Big 12 Golfer-of-the-Month in April 1988. Gomez graduated from Topeka Hayden High School in 1983.
Gomez is married to his wife Danielle and has twin stepsons, Phillip and Christopher.
Graduate Assistant Men’s and Women’s Golf Coach
Dakota Wesleyan University ’13
Emilie Palo returns for her second season as a graduate assistant coach for the Dakota Wesleyan University men’s and women’s golf teams.
Palo made her coaching debut in 2013-14 after competing for four seasons with the Tiger women’s golf program. This marks her sixth season overall with the DWU golf programs.
Palo played in a handful of varsity tournaments in each of her four seasons with the Tigers and recorded one top-10 finish and two top-20 finishes in her career. She also attended the 2010 NAIA Women’s Golf National Championships as part of the starting varsity team. The Hot Springs, S.D., native, was a six-time letter winner at Hot Springs High School and qualified for the Class A state tournament five years.
Palo graduated from Dakota Wesleyan in May 2013 with a degree in history education and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in educational policy and administration.
Volunteer Assistant Men’s and Women’s Golf Coach
Dakota Wesleyan University
Chas Hurd begins his second season as an assistant golf coach for the Tiger golf programs in 2014-15, and he continues to bring a plethora of golf experience to the Dakota Wesleyan golf program.
Hurd was the golf professional at Mitchell’s Lakeview Golf Course for five years and the director of golf at Wild Oak Golf Course for five years. He is currently a golf rep for Sun Mountain and Winn Grips, and has been for the past 25 years.
Hurd, a Chappaqua, N.Y., native, attended college at Dakota Wesleyan and has lived in Mitchell for more than 30 years.
Assistant Men’s and Women’s Golf Coach
Dakota Wesleyan University ’04
Josh Hartman returns as assistant coach for the DWU golf program as an in 2014-15. This is his second season as a coach at Dakota Wesleyan, but he is not new to the school.
Hartman, who most recently was the head women’s golf coach at Colorado State University-Pueblo for four seasons, graduated from DWU in 2004 after playing for two seasons with the men’s golf team. He was the first-ever women’s golf coach at Pueblo, as the ThunderWolves started competing as a varsity sport in 2005. CSU-Pueblo finished third in the RMAC in its second season as a varsity program in 2006-07 under Hartman’s guidance.
Hartman was a two-time All-GPAC Honorable Mention selection in 2002 and 2003 and was the team’s player-of-the-year in 2003. The Trinidad, Colo., native played both basketball and baseball as a freshman and sophomore, but he quit basketball after his sophomore season to join the golf team.
Hartman was a two-time All-GPAC Honorable Mention selection for the baseball team. He was a member of the Dean’s List and was listed in the Who’s Who Among American Universities and Colleges.
He graduated in 2004 with a degree in physical education and K-12 education.